BOSTON, MA March 29, 2023 – Today, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Narcan, 4 milligrams (mg) naloxone hydrochloride nasal spray for over-the-counter (OTC), nonprescription, use. The Police Assisted Addiction and Recovery Initiative (PAARI) applauds the FDA for approving this opioid overdose treatment to be available OTC for consumers.
PAARI believes that expanding access to Narcan is a critical step in preventing opioid-related fatal overdoses. Just earlier this month, PAARI staff trained a worksite at a billion-dollar development in the Boston area, on how to effectively use Narcan. Two weeks ago, staff additionally trained 25 people with family members about to re-enter the community after serving time in prison and jail, how to use the life-saving drug.
In 2022, PAARI trained over 250 police officers on how to use Narcan. Out of the 250 trainees, 25 of those were additionally trained in an intensive course on deflection and diversion, and how to create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery.
Prior to completing the Narcan training in 2022, 60% of law enforcement officers surveyed said that they had previously arrived on the scene of an overdose. However, only 39% of those that responded to the scene carried Narcan. After the completion of the training, 100% of officers surveyed said that they would feel comfortable administering Narcan, can identify warning signs of an overdose, and now plan to carry the life-saving medication while on duty.
“At PAARI, we know that Narcan is an irreplaceable tool for both law enforcement and the public to use to save lives,” says Zoe Grover-Scicchitano, Executive Director at PAARI. “We applaud the FDA for taking the necessary step today to make this life-saving drug more accessible. We urge everyone, whether you or someone you know uses drugs or not, to carry Narcan with them on a daily basis. It can save a life.”
Written by: Isabella Nowak
About PAARI: The Police Assisted Addiction & Recovery Initiative (PAARI) is a nonprofit organization with a mission to help law enforcement agencies nationwide create non-arrest pathways to treatment and recovery. Founded alongside the groundbreaking Gloucester, Mass., Police Department Angel Initiative in June 2015, PAARI has been a driving force behind this rapidly expanding community policing movement. We provide technical assistance, strategic guidance, connection to training resources, and other capacity-building resources to more than 700 police departments in 40 states.
PAARI works with more than 130 law enforcement agencies in Massachusetts alone. PAARI and our law enforcement partners are working towards a collective vision where non-arrest diversion programs become a standard policing practice across the country, thereby reducing overdose deaths, expanding access to treatment, improving public safety, reducing crime, diverting people away from the criminal justice system, and increasing trust between law enforcement and their communities. Our programs and partners have saved tens of thousands of lives, changed police culture, and reshaped the national conversation about the opioid epidemic since its founding in June 2015. Learn more at paariusa.org.